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8 essential Amazon features you’re probably not using

Find better deals, maximize your Prime benefits, see how stuff will look in your house, and more.

8 essential Amazon features you’re probably not using
[Photo: Navamin keawmorakot/iStock]

It may very well be that most Amazon shoppers simply head to the site, click around for stuff, and buy it.

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But there are deals to be had, features to exploit, and perks to enjoy, many of which aren’t always super easy to find.

Here’s a look at some of the not-so-obvious goodies hidden in the nooks and crannies of Amazon’s sprawling mega-site.

Does it fit?

Forget the measuring tape: Amazon’s mobile apps have a nifty feature that leverages your phone’s camera to let you see how some items will look in your home.

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So if you find that huge TV you just can’t live without, check to see if it’s got the “Does it fit?” feature underneath the main listing photo. Then, click the “Try now” button to see how it’ll look on your wall.

Turn your purchases into donations

As long as you’re buying stuff, you might as well be giving back at the same time. You can sign up for the Amazon Smile program, which donates a portion of your eligible purchases to a cause of your choosing. I have all mine set to go to my son’s school.

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Make sure that unbeatable deal is really a deal

Amazon is quick to tell you that you’re saving a pretty penny off the list price of an item, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re actually saving anything at all.

Before you fork over your hard-earned cash, run the item’s link through the search bar at CamelCamelCamel.com or, better yet, use the browser extension, which lets you see an item’s price trends with a single click.

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Get the most out of your Prime benefits

If you’re shelling out $119 a year for Amazon Prime and you’re only using it for two-day shipping and maybe watching some free video content, you’re missing out!

There are a whole bunch of additional benefits that you’d be forgiven for not knowing about. Here’s just a sampling:

Visit Amazon’s Prime Insider page for the full list of perks.

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Bargains off the beaten path

Amazon isn’t shy about showcasing daily deals, but there are other parts of the site you can visit to score additional savings.

Amazon Warehouse features deals on used, pre-owned, and open-box items; the Outlet section serves up discounts on overstocked wares.

If you long for the days of coupon-clipping, you can do that virtually in the Coupons section, while Amazon-acquired Woot.com features deep daily discounts—many of which are actual, decent deals—on items ranging from mundane to bizarre.

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Gift cards for your gadgets

Some of your neglected devices are worth store credit, thanks to Amazon’s trade-in program.

Check the value of your old e-readers, tablets, streaming sticks, smart speakers, video games, cellphones, and more. Once you’re ready, you’ll be able to print a free shipping label, box up your gadget, and send it on its way.

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Buy stuff with pretax healthcare accounts

Whether you’ve got use-it-or-lose-it FSA (flexible spending account) dollars to spend or your HSA (health savings account) is flush with cash, Amazon has a special section full of eligible items.

It’s a good spot to check for general household items before you buy them on Amazon’s main site. You might be surprised at what’s actually eligible.

Real-life price checks

It’s happened to all of us. You’re in a store, you see something you like, and you think to yourself, I bet Amazon has that exact item for much less.

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There’s a very quick way to find out. Just open up the Amazon app on your phone and click the camera icon on the right-hand side of the search bar. Choose the barcode feature and use it to scan the barcode of the in-store item you’re considering. If Amazon sells the same item (spoiler: it does), that item’s listing page will open up automatically so you can compare prices.

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